When I bought my 3D Prophet II GTS 32MB last August, it cost me £250 and for that, I expected to be blown away by its performance, and I was. It’s a seriously powerful card. Nowadays, though, it’s certainly not king of the hill, with the GTS Ultra and GeForce3 outperforming it, but those are £350-£400 cards even today. I think the GTS is an excellent card for modern gaming. Today, I think you’d have problems finding a 32MB GTS for sale, but I think you could get a 64MB GTS for about £140-£170. The GTS’s nearest competitor from a different brand is ATI’s Radeon. The Radeon 64MB DDR costs about £130. So I suppose the point of this review is: why buy a GTS over a Radeon? The Radeon has a couple of things over the GTS. Firstly, it has the edge on price, and secondly, its handling of 32bit colour is better than the GTS. I’ve heard many people say that the Radeon has ‘better image quality’ than nVidia cards, but I can’t see any evidence of this. My cousin’s PC has a Radeon in it, and when I run games on that I don’t notice the quality being any higher. The GTS has two major advantages. Firstly, the raw power of the GTS exceeds the Radeon by quite a way. NVidia cards are famous for pushing a lot of pixels around very fast. So, in most resolutions and colour depths, it’s going to give more FPS. Secondly and most critically is driver support. Graphics drivers provided by nVidia are very well made, updated regularly, and allow the maximum possible performance from the card. With the aid of a third-party optimisation utility such as NVMax (http://www.nvmax.com) you can get a much bigger speed boost (or quality boost) than you’d think. The GTS’ sibling lower down the nVidia product line is the GeForce2 MX. The GTS and the MX are very similar cards, and there is quite a price difference between them, so many people are now choosing the MX over the GTS. When I b ought the GTS, the MX didn’t exist, so I didn’t have to choose, but the GTS does offer that bit more power than the MX, having four rendering pipelines instead of 2. As far as reliability goes, the GTS for me has been excellent. I don’t think its ever failed to run a game. Installation was also a simple and hassle-free experience Spec-wise, the GTS cards are excellent, having 32 or 64MB DDR memory running on a 128-bit bus, giving the RAM a lot of bandwidth. For overclockers, GTS and particularly Guillemot / Hercules cards are very good, having both passive and active cooling on the core as well as RAM heatsinks. This means you could probably overclock the core and RAM quite a bit, though I have not tried this. The GeForce2 also has a moderate implementation of Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing, although the card is not really powerful enough to pull this off in a decent resolution with a decent framerate. It doesn't come with any games, but does come with a full version of popular DVD sofware, PowerDVD. I think the best overall opinion I can give of this card is this: I can run any modern, graphic-intensive PC game in 1024x768x32 with all detail settings usually maxed, with no or virtually no slowdown. Having said that, so can the GeForce2 MX...
I have used Hercules cards for a while now and have to say that I like them. But this card has been a REAL disappointment. Having paid 300 for it I expected little to no trouble. After following their installation instructions, things seems okay at start up. However, when I switched my resolution to 1600x1200 (like I had been using with my TNT card), I lost video signal from the card. I have followed all of the website driver and BIOS update instructions and still have had no luck. I have played QuakeIII and UT and they seem a little better (not £300 better...), but Vampire is almost unplayable with more than a few characters on the screen. And Everquest won't even start up - I get the 'No signal' indicator light on the monitor when I try to start the game. And of course it's been more than a week since I e-mailed a trouble ticket to Guillemot and I've heard NOTHING back. My recomendation: Do not buy this card. It's not worth the headache and who wants to pay that much to be Guillemot's "testbed".
Powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce2 GTS chipset, the 3D Prophet II GTS 64MB card is the most innovative 3D graphics accelerator ever. Futuristic DDR RAM offers unimaginable speed and 3D performance. Visionary DVI-Out ensures high-resolution display and incredible sharpness, and provides the best connection for the flat-panel, LCD and digital displays over and above normal VGA displays. Includes TV-Out and DVD-Video Playback software.The card is a step in the right direction, even tho it costs a bundle...the two of you saying that voodoo5 6000 and rage fury maxx are better just because of ram amounts are idiots...dont you know each chip on both has 32 megs of ram? So that means that the gts 64 has all that ram for one chip, while the voodoo5 mirrors the same texture data four times for each chip...granted that the voodoo5 has a huge fill rate, but at 11M poly's, im not paying 600$ for that....go d/l DMZG at www.wxp3d.com and watch your v5-6000 suck ass.... I will wait till October when the rest of the competition release their cards like Matrox. A good kick ass card for the moment but big bucks is Gloria 2 from ELSA 64-MB unified memory 350-MHz RAMDAC Quadro OpenGL GPU. www.elsa.com/AMERICA/PRODUCTS/GLORIAII/GLORIAII.HTM OOooopsss was that a flash from the future. GREAT CARD JUst BUY IT
Well folks, time to tell you about my newest and most expensive piece of hardware. It's called the hercules 3D prophet II GTS 64MB, Yep a long name, but then for £263, I want a piece of hardware that sounds impressive. Now being a cheap kind of guy by nature, I dont usualy buy the latest, greatest hardware as soon as it comes out, but when I buy something myself I do tend to get the best, partly because it has a tendency to last / remain fast for longer. This card, although a bitch to set up (on some systems, many people have no trouble, and this is partly because its a new, expensive piece of kit that needs bug's ironing out) kicks ass. At the time of writing the only thing that can touch this* is the voodoo 6, and thats not out yet! This card has more memory on it than my mom's PC (is that a good thing?) and a proccesor that probably has more power than my main box (well, it is only a PII 350 but still..) If you want to make you friends mouths water when they see vampire, redemption, or you need to see fps of 100+ in high detail on quake III you will want this card. It's 64 Mb of memory should see it competing well with the graphics cards coming out in early 2001, especialy as the main problem with graphics cards at the moment is getting memory cheap / fast enough to put on the cards. All in all the card rocks, I'll try to get some bench marks up on the website soon, along with tips on getting the dammn thing started in the first place :-) chee'rs guys, all question welcome as always and see you in my forum Nutt www.codeweevils.com BTW at the moment my system (a pII 350 128mb ) gets 2040 3d marks in www.madonion.com's 3dmark2000 from windows 2000 and 3232 in windows ME so Its worth using a dual boot if your running windows 2000 Quick notes get a little speed by kciking hardware acceleration in windows down two notches, go to control panel, display settings, advanced, troubleshooting, pull the slider back so its two notches anway from full. direct X should still be fully accelerated but some windows stuff to do with timings that's not really useful nowadays will get disabled. Uninstall all your old drivers. first Boot to VGA mode. Completely uninstall all your video card drivers, then go into the C:\WinNT\INF folder. You should see loads of OEM files in this directory (OEM1.inf, OEM2.inf, etc..). You must open each one, and find out which one is for the graphics card, then delete it. Download the latest driver package, then extract the files. Do a search for each of the extracted files, and delete them if found on your hard drive in a different directory than where you extracted the driver package. Then go into the registry and delete all obvious references to Nvidia or Hercules. Reboot your system, then install the latest drivers that you extracted Make sure your motherboards BIOS has the assign IRQ to video card option on, this caused me no end of grief! Hercules recomend the following settings for the prophet... System Optimization Settings: BIOS Settings PCI/VGA Palette Snoop - Disabled Video ROM BIOS Shadow - Disabled Video RAM Shadow - Disabled C8000 - DFFFF - All memory ranges should be Disabled AGP Aperture Size - Half of your total amount of main system RAM, however you should try different settings Video Memory Cache Size - UC PNP OS Installed - YES Assign IRQ to VGA - YES Resources Controlled By - AUTO Windows Settings Enable DMA on your hard drive You can do so by: Go into the Device Manager Double-click on your hard drive which is listed under "Disk Drives" Click "Settings" Put a check mark in "DMA" Manually force your swapfile to 150MB You can do so by: Go into System Properties Click "Performance" Click "Virtual Memory" Select "Let me specify my o wn virtual memory settings" Select your drive Set the minimum to 150MB Set the maximum to 170MB Defrag your hard drive! Shutdown unnecessary programs and TSR's, you should try and have as little as you can loaded in the system tray You can get the version (unofficial) 5.30 drivers for my website at www.codeweevils.com MAd props to all the guys at the www.hercules.com and of course ARS technica websites (especial ScYcS!)